Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Stock Your Centers With These Halloween Themed Literacy Games!

Are you a tired teacher?
Are you a tired teacher that has been in school for a month or longer?
Are you a tired teacher that needs some fun, engaging and no prep games to keep your kiddos practicing those basic skills through October? If so, you need this Halloween Literacy Games pack! In this pack, I've compiled a group of easy to use literacy activities that you simply need to print and they are ready to use! Take a closer look at what's included....  
{Click on any picture to view the pack on TpT!}

Here is the Literacy Pack!
For activity one, students match a lower case letter {the candy corn card} with a capital letter {the candy bucket card}!  
Activity two is one of my student's most favorite games...cut and assemble puzzles! Here, students will order their ABC's to reveal a cute kid-friendly Halloween picture! Simply print the page, cut on each vertical line and the game is ready!!
Activity three easily allows you to easily differentiate for your students. Here, students match a capital letter, lower case letter and a picture that has the same beginning letter. If this is to much for your students, just eliminate one set of the cards, such as the lower case letter cards and have students just match the capital letter and the picture! You choose how easy or difficult you need it! 
Activity four has students match rhyming picture cards! 
I've also included a recording sheet so if your students are ready, they can record their pairs of rhyming words! 
I hope you find this pack useful and your kiddos love the activities!!
Click on any picture, or click here, to view this pack on TpT!

Keep on keeping on....the end of the week is near my friend! 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Halloween Ideas, Pins and Printables!

It's the beginning of October and that means it time for all things Halloween! There is so much you can do with this holiday and not all things have to be scary or spooky. I think students really love this time of the year because it's the first real holiday of the school year and quite frankly, kids like to try to scare their friends or gross them out! So why not incorporate Halloween into your everyday activities to keep the kids engaged!! 

I wanted to get some ideas so I started my search {like I always do} on Pinterest and I was absolutely blown away by all of the cool and unique classroom activities teachers have created. (Pinterest is the best for not recreating the wheel!) Below, I have complied some of the best Pins that I found! I think you'll love them and maybe even want to add them to your class plans however you see fit! Be sure to click on any picture to view that Pin on Pinterest!

First up, I found TONS of great Halloween themed sensory bin ideas. It's all about getting creative! Since you typically want smaller items for your sensory bins, it's easy to find like pumpkins, fingers, spiders and eyeballs! Party favors are great to help find small items at a cheap price! 
More great sensory bin ideas!
I love this idea of dying pumpkin seeds! Not only do they hold the dye color really well, it's so easy to do since pumpkins supply you with hundreds of seeds!! I really think the possibilities are endless once the seeds are colored. Here, they used the seeds to create their names but you could also do sorting with them, use them in a math center with counting, create sight words with them or make them the base for your next sensory bin! I'm sure you can think of tons more ideas!! 
My students would LOVE a candy corn volcano! All of these materials are ones you probably already have on hand, with the exception of the funnel. Take a look at the pin and see how easy it would be to create! I know my students would be highly engaged!! 
Science seems to get kicked to the back burner sometimes but why not make it front and center this year?!?! Here is a list of some cool science activities that your students are sure to love! 
Once your room looks like Halloween why not make it smell just as good too! Here I found some awesome and EASY ways to make your own pumpkin scented play dough and cloud dough!! Again, you probably already have the ingredients on hand! 
I can smell the yummy-ness now!!
And you know you can always use some cool STEM activities!! Check out this pin to see some not-so-spooky candy science activities. 
I know my students would rock this challenge! Building with candy? Double yes!!! I'm sure you could get parents to donate a bag or so each to keep the cost down!
Since I've filled with you with tons of great Halloween ideas for the classroom, I also want to show you some pages of my 'Halloween save your ink printables' unit! I created this unit in hopes of saving teachers time and money, by not using color on any of the sheets---everything is in black and white with cute kid-friendly graphics!
{Click on any picture to view the unit on TpT!}

Here is the unit cover....
And here is a quick overview of everything included in the unit!

My daughter wanted to "play school" so I obliged! She might have been slightly annoyed that I was taking pictures but she knows her mama likes to document everything! Can you blame me? :)

First up, tally marks.
Students color in matching number and tally marks the same color!
My kiddos always need more practice with ten frames!
Identifying coordinating numbers and number words.
Patterns are so important!
Cut and glue numbers to the correct number word!
Crazy counting with one-to-one correspondence. 
Color the same shape ghosts the same color!
It's never to early to introduce even and odd numbers. 

I hope you've found some great Halloween themed ideas that you can use this year!  
Be sure to click on any picture to view more about it! 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

TBT- Birthday Balloons That Kids Love!!

For TBT for this week, I want to share with you how I made the birthday balloons that I gave to students on their birthday! They always loved getting a little something for me and of course, I loved sending home a load of sugar for them to enjoy {you're welcome parents}! 

Take a look at how simple it was to make! If you don't have a Circuit machine you could always freehand it or use a die-cut!

Birthday Balloons

Well, school is about to start and that means I'm kicking it into high gear!!!

So, my latest project has been birthday balloons on pixie sticks!
Yes, you've probably seen them all over Facebook and Pinterest but they are just so darn cute!
I HAD to make them for my new kiddos!

Here is how I made mine, step-by-step! And I just L-O-V-E how the end product turned out!

First, I started off with scrapbook paper--this is my secret weapon in my classroom!
This is just a big sheet of scrapbook paper, 12 X 12, and I found this cute birthday design at my local Hobby Lobby store!
Next, I used my wonderful teammates Circuit machine to cut out all of the cute balloons. I could only get 4 per sheet--but they were a pretty good size. And this was the step where we realized that picking a paper that had more of an abstract design would have been better-- we cut 4 balloons out before we realized that hats were sideways when we were holding the balloon at the bottom-OOPS!!!
(I also later added a different kind of paper to break up the monotony of the hat design.) I then added the 'happy birthday' on the front and then laminated them.
The next step was to attach the tall pixie sticks to the back of each balloon  I just did this with clear packing tape.
Next I found an old fishbowl from our "trash" pile at school---there are so many good finds in there!  I added all the sticks in there and arranged them until my heart was content!
It then looked like it was missing something so I went to our craft supply and found some bright pink tissue paper.  I stuffed it in the bottom and viola- my beautiful birthday balloons!!!


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Great Resources For Teaching Colors!!

I want to showcase a few great pins that I've found and a new flip book that I've created when teaching students about colors! I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to teaching colors! I used to think colors was kind of a hard concept to teach but I learned that I just had to get creative! Pinterest has so many great ideas and I knew I needed a board specifically for ways to teach it to my struggling students. Take a look at that board by clicking here

Here are the pins I found and love!
Click the pictures to be taken to the link!!
Awesome color books!
I love my sensory bin!
What an awesome art project!
Simple and effective! 
Aren't those pins pretty creative? I love them!
And here is my newest flip book! 
I think it will fun and engaging for students. Here are the pages that are included. 
The cover which is available in color and black/white. 
And don't forget about these color units that I also have listed on TpT if you need even more resources to use.
Click on either picture to view it in my store!

I hope a few of these pins and resources help you and your students this year! Get creative when teaching colors!!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Practicing Those Colors!

School is right around the corner.
And somehow I have a toddler who will be starting Kindergarten sooner than I'd like to imagine.
{When did this happen??}

He's been doing so well at prek lately learning his letters, counting 1-20 and of course, learning his colors! And let me tell you, he is mildly obsessed with them---like for real, he quizzes me more than I ever thought possible...{yes honey, mommy does know what color her shirt is and for the love of pete kid, if I tell you what color it is, will you leave the kitchen and let me finish cooking in peace?} Only kidding....sort of! HA! 

So it was no surprise to me that he would be the first one in the computer room when I started printing off pages from a few color units I had made in the past. Seriously, he's like a moth to a flame! No sooner had the printer spit out a few pages before I hear "mommy, colors, I see colors.  Can we play?"  This was one time when I was happy to oblige! 

I could barely cut the color sheets into fourths before he was nonstop asking to match the colors. I finished cutting and let him have at it! My teacher heart {and mommy heart} were so happy to see him in action. I was snapping pictures quickly of his work when I then heard "oh mommy, take a picture of this one...and this one...and this one..." {If you have a toddler, you know how this goes!}

Take a look at my handsome mister in action! 
{Cheese mommy!}
He's concentrating so hard!
A few of the final matches!! 
Then I decided to pull out a color game from my "to laminate" file. I just haven't gotten around to putting laminating on it but he didn't care. I set out the mats and he was off again! Barely stopping at all. He started matching colors on the objects to the colors on the mat.  
"I like this orange fishy mommy."
He said "all done mommy- cheese!!"
Thumbs up for a job well done buddy!!!
A close up of all of his wonderful work!

Both of these activities came from this color unit here

If your students need a little extra practice on colors, I know they would love these activities!! 
Be sure to check them out! 
I hope you have a colorful school year!